New Year’s Resolution time is just around the corner. Here are 5 easy ways to make those resolutions stick and become healthy life habits.
A SMART goal stands for:
How to create a SMART goal:
New Year’s Resolutions tend to be sweeping statements like:
“I want to quit drinking soda.”
“I want to lose weight and start working out.”
Or the ever popular “I want to lead a healthier lifestyle.”
The problem with these goals is that they are not broken down into action steps. What are you supposed to do to lose weight? How much weight do you want to lose? How many times do you want to go to the gym? What does a healthier lifestyle mean? Then the third week of January comes around, you stop going to the gym you joined and your resolutions are forgotten. You are back to your busy lifestyle and habits you had last year.
With a SMART goal you break down your goal into easy to achieve action steps that you are able to fit into your current busy lifestyle.
For example, your goal is: “I want to quit drinking soda.”
Be very Specific. I want to quit drinking soda at lunch for the next 7 days.
It must be Measurable. Having soda at lunch is measurable because you can check off the box. Did I have soda today or not?
Take Action and Have a Plan
What Action will you need to take? What are you going to drink instead? Water? Tea? If you are going to replace soda with tea (because you still want a flavored beverage) you will need to go shopping for tea bags, plan to bring those tea bags to work, have a kettle or a way to heat up water, bring a cup to have your tea in. If all these things are not in place having a soda out of the vending machine will be a much easier option. (and because this is the habit you are trying to break your brain will be on auto pilot if other steps are not in place)
Is your goal Realistic? Make sure it is something you can actually accomplish. You do not want to get discouraged by not being even close to hitting your goal. For example: I am going to quit soda cold turkey and only drink tea from now on. Not very realistic and set up for failure.
Make your goal Time-bound. Put a time frame on your goal so you can stop and assess your progress. In this case we made the goal 7 days. Tweak if necessary.
Over the past 7 days how many days did you drink tea instead of soda at lunch? You can now reassess and make a new goal based on your progress so far. If you had tea all 7 days then you did GREAT! You can keep at it!
On the other hand maybe you only had tea 5 days out of 7. What happened? During the work week you planned for success, but on the weekend you went out to lunch and had soda with friends. Remember not to beat yourself up, you still did a great job having tea 5 days per week.
Maybe you need to look at your goal again and figure what you want to accomplish. What is important to you? You need to have your heart behind these changes in order for them to stick. What is your WHY? Get out there and make some SMART resolutions this year. START NOW!
If you want help creating your SMART goals and an accountability partner to keep you on track: Contact Kari now.